Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Christmas in Our New House - Part 2

As I said, Adam and I were really excited to spend Christmas in our new house. Getting the tree up was a priority - day after we move in priority!

The tree went up, lights were on. Monday night we decorated.

Ornaments are one, Tree Skirt (made by my Mother-In-Law) is down. All that's left is the Star!

We have a lot of ornaments that are special to us, for some reason this year I only took pictures of MY favourites (oops!) but here are a few!

Baby's First Christmas - that Ornament has now survived 34 Christmases and several moves. It also still has the original box!

This is our 'Our First Christmas' Ornament, well...first married Christmas. On the bottom I wrote 'Mr & Mrs Peck est 2014)

This is from my Nephew, Thomas'' first Christmas. His mother spent way too long obsessing over these, but they're really freaking cute and it's always wrapped with care.

This is from a set of wannabe vintage glass ornaments (you can see a few more peeking in the background). I love the shapes and the colours, and of course - the glitter!

Another Thomas Original - this is from his second Christmas. Again - his mama spent way too much time stressing, but they are freaking cute.
This horrendously ugly 80's garland is a relic from Adam's Childhood. He always threatens to put it up but then he takes it from the box, realizes it even tackier than he remembers, and puts it away.

Time for the star!
The elf hats are also a tradition of ours, they cam as part of a Christmas parcel from my dad years ago when we lived in Fredericton. 

In case you didn't believe me that the Christmas tree was a priority - my kitchen looked like this the whole time we were decorating...

Even our fireplace in the family room got a few decorations!

Over the next couple of weeks we continued unpacking and making our new house a home. Then, all of a sudden it was Tibb's Eve (December 23rd for all you non-Newfoundlanders).  Adam and I knew were were going to visit his family for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and I knew I wouldn't be cooking a turkey dinner, so for Tibb's Eve Dinner I made some Turkey Roulades - the perfect Turkey for 2 dinner. (recipe coming soon!)

Then it was Christmas Eve.  For lunch I made a giant Hot Turkey Sandwich (my favourite) with leftovers from the night before. For dinner, we had our traditional Mary Brown's - chicken fingers with taters, coleslaw & pepsi.

Christmas morning...

We got so many amazing presents - we were truly spoiled!

It was a fantastic Christmas in our new house. We couldn't be happier. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Christmas in our New House - Part 1

Adam and I were really excited to get to spend Christmas in our new house. Back when we started looking we'd said we wanted a house by Christmas. I'm not sure either of us really believed we'd do it - but we did!

We moved in to our house on December 9th - we hired movers. Best decision ever. The guys were so fast, all we had to do was point and our boxes and furniture was where we wanted it and in less than half the time than if we'd done it ourselves.

As you can see, Adam is working really hard on Moving Day!

If you live in HRM I definitely recommend these guys. They were quick, they were efficient, and they were careful. They were also fun guys to be around.

Once the movers left, it was time to start unpacking (which is almost as bad as packing). If you're ever planning to move - I also recommend you get these bad boys. Wardrobe boxes. They make life so much easier! That fantastic turquoise and gold outfit - that's from our trip to India! I'll probably never wear it again, but I love knowing it's in my closet.

So we moved in on Friday. Saturday morning we got up and continued unpacking - but not before Adam made a Timmy's run and delivered breakfast in bed.

Later that morning, our new couches were delivered! 

They arrived on time and were super careful - say what you want about the big box stores, so far we're very happy with our purchase.

New couches in our new living room!

Once the couches were in, it was CHRISTMAS TREE TIME!  That's right. We were living in a sea of boxes, nothing was unpacked. But we were going to get a Christmas Tree - come on, priorities!
Unfortunately, we were having cable and internet installed that day as well and it was taking a really long time - they had to run lines and all kinds of craziness.  That meant that one of us had to stay home. So I went off to the Christmas tree lot by myself. That is stressful!  It's a lot of pressure picking out a Christmas Tree. It was also going to be our first real Christmas Tree so I really wanted to it to be great.

It's a little lopsided, but I had a feeling about it.
I managed to find a tree. It was a little crooked, but it had character and it was the right height and it was straight with a good branch for a star.  I paid, they tagged the tree and set it up for delivery (yep - they deliver! How's that for service!) We put the tree up, let it rest for 24 hours to thaw out (and for Adam to be sure it wasn't going to fall over). Then on Sunday night we added lights.

All lit up!

Can you tell we're really excited about our tree?

Part 2 to come...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome to 2017

 2016 ended with a flurry of activity for Adam and I and a whole lot of craziness for the world at large.  There were unexpected election results, tragic events unfolding in the Middle East, and 2016 stole even more beloved celebrities from us.

Adam and I moved into our new house - we're still living in boxes and have a long list of projects. We spent most of Christmas with his family in Amherst but Christmas morning was spent opening stockings by our fireplace and presents under our tree in our living room.

I'm hoping to blog more this year. Some food, some workouts, some lifestyle and DIY stuff.  My instagram - imstillkpbutstrong - will be more active (might change the handle to reflect the more diverse turn my blog is taking - I'll post if I do...)

You also might notice that I'm now posting under Katherine Peck.  I finally got around to getting an email address just for this blog and have switched ownership to that email.  Katherine Pratt and Katherine Peck = same person and the reason that I'm Still KP!



Sunday, November 27, 2016

We Bought a House!

Exciting news for us. On Thursday last week, we closed on our first house.  We've been looking at houses for what feels like forever.

It's now been several busy days of getting things ready to move in.

We've been ripping out carpet, ripping out laminate and painting.

There are lots of DIY projects in my future - for right now they've been limited to painting.  I'll admit, we hired people to paint the 'important' rooms - all the rooms that we'll need right away.  We wanted to paint some stuff ourselves.

For now, here are a few (okay a lot) pictures of our new house!

We have an amazing backyard
Fell in love with those windows
TV Room before - ugly paint & nasty carpet
Carpet is gone
There was a lot of carpet
Pretty blue, just waiting for new floors
Downstairs entry is painted, just waiting for new floors
Living room with new paint and our gorgeous windows in daylight
Adam & Nephew ripping out the laminate, getting ready for new floors
Master all painted (by pros), just waiting for floors
My craft room (I GET A CRAFT ROOM!) before
Had the brilliant idea that this should be my accent wall....
I think it's going to take A LOT of paint!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Curry

Butternut squash soup is one of my favourite things.  I love it, I could (and have) eaten it every day for lunch.  When we were living in Ontario, I went to Panera Bread for lunch way too often and they had an incredible Autumn Squash soup that I've been trying to recreate since the first day I tried it.

This soup isn't as sweet as Panera's but it's got a great, complex flavour and is a little more 'grown up'.

I started with this recipe from Little Spice Jar, but tweaked it a little.

This recipe calls for minced garlic and grated ginger - for both of these I used my Pamperd Chef Microplane grater.  I haven't found anything better yet. I love it!

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples & Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Serves: 6


2-2.5 pounds butternut squash, chunked (**See notes)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 granny smith apples, diced
2 carrots, chunked (or 2 handfuls of baby carrots)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon curry powder (more or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups stock (Chicken or Vegetable)
1/2 Cup heavy cream


1. Add all ingredients (except cream) to a 7-8 quart dutch oven. I used the Pampered Chef Rock Crock - this thing is super easy to clean and does a great job,

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer.
3. Let simmer for 2 hours or until everything is tender (it won't look pretty at this stage, but it'll smell amazing!

4. Pour soup into blender, if it's still hot make sure that the cover isn't on tight or that the vent is open.  Blend until smooth covering the hole/opening at the top with a towel (trust me - if you don't, there will be a BIG mess!) I used my Ninja, if you have one of these, you'll know it won't operate unless the lid is on.  I just opened the pour spout and covered with a towel to make sure I didn't make a huge mess everywhere and that the top didn't burst!
5. Add cream and blend until combined.

6. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy!


1. I cheat on the squash.  I buy it pre-cubed in the freezer section at Costco.  I've nearly lost a finger too many times trying to cut those suckers, this just makes too much sense.

2. You could also make this in the slow cooker, 4-6 hours on High or 7-8 on Low

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Garlic & Brown Sugar Chicken

I've been seriously slacking in the kitchen department lately so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. You can see my recipe wishlist here and recipes I've tried (along with my feedback on them) here.  I like to think that I'm a pretty good cook.  I come from a family of great cooks and I think I've learned a few things along the way.

Comfort food is my favourite, who doesn't love mac'n'cheese (besides my husband...but that's another story). As it turns to fall I've been craving home cooked comfort food.  Tonight I decided to try out a pinterest find - Garlic & Brown Sugar Chicken.  There were several pinterest links to different recipes, I used this one as my starting point.

It's super easy.


- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
- 4 tbsp light brown sugar
- 4 gloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil


1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees

2. Line Baking sheet with parchment paper or grease baking dish

3. Grate garlic into warm oil (or add minced) and cook until soft.

(TIP - I love my microplane zester for garlic, I have this one from Pampered Chef. It's amazing)

4. Add the brown sugar to the garlic and combine, remove from heat

5. Put the chicken in baking dish

6. Season with Salt & Pepper as desired

7. Add garlic & brown sugar mixture to chicken, distribute evenly

8. Bake uncovered for apx 20 minutes or until cooked through

I ate mine with roasted potatoes topped with some grated Grano Padano